A selection of files recently released

Return to list
Catalogue ref. Date Description
Records of Justices of Assize, Gaol Delivery, Oyer and Terminer, and Nisi Prius
ASSI 13/761 1966 Conspiracy to commit piracy: Sherriff, Rodney Charles and othersThis file covers the case of a group of men who were convicted of conspiracy to commit piracy on the fishing trawler 'Loveden'. The men posed as crew on the ship, and once on the high seas incapacitated other members of the crew, including the captain, and stole a vast quantity of goods from the ship. The file contains both original and transcribed statements, as well as evidence including pictures.
Records created and inherited by the Foreign Office
FO 371/66461 1947 Setting up of the 'Russian Secretariat' to study Soviet and Communist policyThis file relates to the setting up of a Russian Secretariat, with the purpose of understanding Soviet and Communist policy and communicating its findings to other institutions such as the British embassy in Moscow.
Records created or inherited by the Home Office, Ministry of Home Security, and related bodies
HO 144/1550/197156 1910 - 1920 HONOURS: John D Carruthers: OBE forfeit on convictionThis file relates to the case of John Dudley Carruthers who, following his conviction for fraud was divested of his war medal. The Home Secretary had been consulted about his case but was not minded to take away his medal following his post-war conviction. However, a War Office official did not realise that the Home Office had declined to act in Carruthers' case, and that as the medal was a civil medal protocol did not allow the War Office to take it away.
HO 144/21472 1940 CRIMINAL CASES: KIEBOOM, Charles Albert van den convicted at Central Criminal Court (CCC) on 22 November 1940 for treachery and sentenced to death (This file has been catalogued under more than one subject heading)This file relates to the case of three men who were tried and convicted of treachery in 1940. The men landed in a rowing boat in September 1940, on the Kent coast. They were carrying transmission equipment, and were arrested. The three men - Carl Meier, Charles Van Den Kieboom and Jose Waldberg - were executed following their conviction. The file contains for each man a declaration of execution, the surgeon's certificate and the coroner's inquisition.
HO 144/21879 1943 HONOURS: Mr Warren Emslie: bogus claim of knighthoodThis file relates to the case of Mr Warren Emslie whose fantasy title was the first recorded case of a bogus knighthood in recent times. Civil servants at the Home Office were tipped off that Mr Emslie, a shop assistant, was passing himself off as Sir Warren by his new wife's aunt, Mrs Webb. Emslie was interviewed by the Metropolitan Police and recanted his honour. He had, he claimed, only intended to impress the girl he was to marry and her relatives. Scotland Yard wrote in their report that Emslie was "more a fool than a knave" and no further action was taken by the police.
HO 144/22065 1911-1945 CRIMINAL: Coinage used for purposes other than currencyThis file looks at correspondence with the Home Office relating to a number of occurrences where coins have been used as ornaments or jewellery as well as the sale of gold coins at a price exceeding their face value.
HO 144/22394 1945 DIPLOMATIC PRIVILEGE: Embassy servant escaped prosecution by exercise of diplomatic privilege when accused of outraging public decency: non-diplomatic person (a woman) in the case prosecuted and fined.This file relates to the case of a waiter from the Egyptian embassy who was caught committing an act of public indecency with a prostitute. The waiter was protected by diplomatic privilege, and an issue arose as to whether or not to prosecute the other party.
HO 144/23246 1939-1944 DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES: Substances which could be used for sabotage: restrictions on saleThis file looks at the implementation of a new scheme, during the war, restricting the sale of a number of household chemicals in order to avoid their misuse. Includes reports of youths making explosives and throwing them in the streets, which led to stricter implementation of the scheme.
HO 144/23364 1947 ROYAL - TITLE ROYAL AND ROYAL ARMS: Royal Arms: Radio Times: use of Princess Elizabeth's Arms (This file has been catalogued under more than one subject heading)This file looks at requests from companies seeking to make souvenirs for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. Includes some sketches and prototypes.
HO 405/16179 1935 - 1939 GOHLER, H aka GAY, J Date of birth 02.09.1909This is the naturalisation file for John Gay, a renowned photographer. Born Hans Gohler in Germany, he came over to the UK after Hitler came to power in 1933.
HO 45/22305 1928-1948 ROYAL - TITLE ROYAL AND ROYAL ARMS: TITLE ROYAL: Royal Academy of Dancing: Queen's patronage, Title Royal and ChartersThis file relates to the Association of Operatic Dancing, later to become the Royal Academy of Dancing. In 1928, Queen Mary became Patroness of the Association. A year later, the Association applied for a Royal Charter but was refused. In 1935, the Charter was re-applied for and subsequently granted.
HO 45/22437 1947-1948 ROYAL -OTHER MATTERS: Silver wedding of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth: celebration arrangementsThis file looks at procedures and arrangements for the Silver wedding anniversary of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. It includes correspondence from Windsor, Sandringham and Buckingham Palace.
HO 45/22522 1948 WAR: Repatriation of German ex-prisoners of war: police assistance to prevent disorderThis file deals with the repatriation of approximately 10,000 ex-prisoners-of-war, who were engaged as civilians in agricultural work but became redundant. The Home Office looks at the best way to handle the repatriation, in particular in view of the fact that there are no powers to compel the workers to return to Germany.
HO 45/23592 1928-1932 BURIALS: Illegal burials at Bartestree Convent Hereford : prosecution of Mother Superior following several warningsThis file looks at the action taken against Bartestree Convent, Hereford, after several burials were conducted without following the correct procedures.
HO 45/23626 1921-1949 DISTURBANCES: Strike agitators: funds paid by communist countries to aggravate industrial disturbances in the United Kingdom. This file relates to the foreign financing of industrial disputes,  particularly in view of the recent general strike. The Central Council of Soviet Trade Unions made significant contributions to the strike fund, and a number of Bills were put to Parliament in order to avoid this recurring.
HO 45/23632 1938 HONOURS: Dukedom of Connaught: succession; position of Lord Macduff in line of descentThis file looks at the succession of the Dukedom of Connaught, following an enquiry from Buckingham Palace.
HO 45/23719 1938-1943 DANGEROUS DRUGS AND POISONS: International co-operation regarding persons involved in drug traffickingThis file looks at the collaboration between French, American and British institutions following the seizure of large amounts of heroin and opium in Cherbourg, France.
Records created or inherited by the Prison Commission and Home Office Prison Department
PCOM 9/890 1940 MEIER Carl Heinrich: convicted at Central Criminal Court (CCC) 12 November of treason and sentenced to deathThis file relates to the execution of Carl Meier, who was convicted of treachery alongside Jose Walberg and Charles Van Den Kieboom. Please see above (HO 144/21472) for further details on the case.